Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More on Jack LaLanne passing ...

A sad day in the world of Physical Culture.  Arguably the most influential physical culturist of the last 100 years.  It is impossible to know just how many people he influenced, how many lives he touched over the years.  To say that he was ahead of his time is a gross understatement.  Even now, over half a century after his television show went off the air, people are reaping the benefits of his incredible foresight.  Imagine what it must have been like for him in the 1950s-- advocating weight-training for athletes's when the conventional wisdom of the time recommended against it.  He was proven right.  Advocating that women not only exercise, but should weight-train as well.  Now, in 2011, there are as many women as men lifting weights in any gym.  He urged older persons to exercise, at a time when it was common to write off anybody over the age of fifty as being "too old."  We now know how regular exercise can benefit people of all ages, and that it is never too late.  He recommended exercise for pregnant women, for persons recovering  from surgery, for teenagers.  And he backed it all up with his incredible feats of strength, stamina, and endurance.  I am proud to have an autographed picture of him ( one of the few autographs that I have.)  I dare say that for many decades to come, when people hear the name Jack LaLanne, the image that will come to mind is of a vibrant, healthy man of incredible energy who inspired millions of people to enjoy the many benefits of exercise.  He will continue to inspire people for a long time.  Rest in Peace, Jack LaLanne.

Jim Duggan

I know that I should not be "shocked" that a 96 year old man has died, but its different with Jack. I somehow felt that he would live forever. He once jokingly said, "I can't die .. it would hurt my image" .. and he almost made us believe it. Jack was my first idol or role model and started my interest in fitness in the early 60's when I watched his TV show. He was a great man and one of the biggest names in physical culture history. We have lost a real legend of a man. Rest in peace Jack.

Bob Whelan
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Fitness Great Jack LaLanne has Died at 96

(CNN) -- American fitness guru Jack LaLanne died Sunday afternoon at his home in Morro Bay, California, according to his long-time agent, Rick Hersh. He was 96.
The cause, said Hersh, was respiratory failure due to pneumonia. LaLanne had been ill for the past week. His wife, Elaine, was at his side, along with his family and friends, Hersh said. No funeral arrangements were announced, but his agent said plans were being made.
LaLanne spent decades talking about the healthful benefits of exercise and fitness. He opened his own health spa in California in 1936, years before the fitness craze swept the United States. LaLanne even designed the world's first leg-extension machine, along with several other pieces of fitness equipment now standard in the fitness industry.
He was born in San Francisco on September 26, 1914. A self-confessed sugar- and junk-food addict as a child, he went on to study bodybuilding and weight-lifting by the time he was in his late teens.
From the 1950s through the 1980s, LaLanne performed multiple feats of strength and endurance. His first such stunt was an underwater swim the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, loaded with 140 pounds of equipment, in 1954. He went on to stage many attention-getting events, including completing over a thousand pushups in a little over 20 minutes, and towing 65 boats filled with thousands of pounds of wood pulp in Japan.
Jack LaLanne dies at 96
LaLanne had his own workout program, "The Jack LaLanne Show." First broadcast nationally in 1959, the show went on to run for three decades.
In his later years, he was easily recognized because of late-night infomercials on on the benefits of juicing.
He also made many appearances on CNN's "Larry King Live" and was a friend of the talk show host. "There was no one like Jack LaLanne," King said Sunday night. "He would go on forever ... a true guru. I guess Charles Atlas from the old comic books would be the predecessor for Jack LaLanne."
But it wasn't simply LaLanne's physical prowess that impressed King. "Elderly people were encouraged by him because he just kept on going," King said, adding that modern fitness celebrities owe a debt of gratitude to the original impresario of exercise.
LaLanne's wife of 51 years released a statement on her husband's passing: "I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for," Elaine said.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Message from Romania - Training Help Needed

Dear Bob,

First of all I want to thank you for your site which I just bumped to and felt I needed to know more. I have been searching a long time for some reasonable strength-gaining tips on the net, but all I found is "supplement" this, "supplement" that, and it drove me crazy. There seems to be no honor anymore in this generation, the "anti-drug" stance is also very dim today, and I wonder what happened to humanity.

I have been training for not to long now, but never gave much thought to the nutrition part. I just ate what I always ate (2-3 times a day, meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, milk etc). I never had injuries of any kind. Most of the exercises I did were at home, with the equipment I bought for myself, because I didn't want to get indoctrinated by the steroid freak gym teachers, and always felt that "doing it natural" was the best way to do anything. However lately I have been contemplating to get into martial arts (likely hard karate or traditional jujitsu), and I feel a spark of inspiration to actually train serious now, and not like "every now and then" as I did before. I basically want to get fast and strong in a natural way, perhaps not terribly strong, yet a decent balance between speed and strength. I am honestly hoping to get as strong as I can get without gaining too much mass. In fact the more strength, and the less mass I gain, the better, if that makes any sense (like bruce lee or something). I basically want to be able to lift alot of weight, punch really hard and fast, yet also retain some kind of agility to execute a high kick with devastating effect. I just want to learn how to fight, while being strong at the same time.

So far the level of training/strength for my size (6'1-186 cm, male) is this: I can pull off standing bicep curls, at 
clean 8 reps of 15 kg, for 4 sets. No idea if this is good or bad, although I can tell that I am stronger now than in the beginning, but I reckon it can get better than this. My arms don't look terribly big, somewhat bulky, but nothing noteworthy, since I am looking for effect rather than looks (looks mean nothing to me, all I want is ability/performance alone). My only problem now is that my metabolism, by my genetic composition I suppose, isn't very fast. I'm rather fat right now, since I weight 93 kg, while I think should have atleast 10 less kg for a decent weight. So I am also looking to lose weight in the process of gaining strength. Now I only wonder what should I eat? Is protein "the end of it all" as I heard everywhere? Do I need to take vitamin pills? Or do I simply need to continue eating what I always ate (but with less emphasis on high-fat foods), and just train more and harder? I have no problem with training harder, I feel determined at this point.

I would welcome any thoughts on this matter, particularly on the topic of nutrition, which to be honest, isn't my favorite part. I feel that my strength comes from within, rather from foods, but I heard that nutrition plays a vital role also, so I'd appreciate if I knew more from reliable people since I don't trust the so called bodybuilding industry nowadays, which is full of drugs and losers. Excuse my possibly awkward english I'm from europe (romanian).



Hi Anton,

Thanks for the nice message. I'm sure many readers will offer you opinions. :-) Please also go to NaturalStrength.NET and register then post there too. (It's free.) Also go to AmericanCombato.com and 
SeattleCombatives.com and read everything there by Brad Steiner. No one will help you more with training for fighting and martial arts etc than Brad. Good Luck!

*Editor's Note: Please email any advice you may have to Anton. His email is:  ethereal8spire@yahoo.com 
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Does modern bodybuilding make you sick? You should write for Natural Strength! I always need good articles about drug-free weight training. It only has to be at least a page and nothing fancy. Just write it strong and truthful with passion! Send your articles directly to me: bobwhelan@naturalstrength.com

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